Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mukkuthala Bhagawathy

Mukkuthala Bhagawathi
Mukkuthala previously known as “Mukthi Sthala (Place of Salvation) , also known as
Mukkolayakkal is in the Malappuram district of Kerala and is three kilometers from
Changaram kulam kara. Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri, the author of Narayaneeyam
became afflicted with a serious stomach ache. In his dream, the goddess came and told
him, that if he comes to her temple, he would be cured of his problem. Bhattathiri wrote a
very great poetic work called “Sripada Sapthathi” in praise of the Bhagawathi here.
This temple has been also referred in “”Mukthi Sthala Devi Stotram” which dates back
to the 8th centaury and referred by Ulloor Paramaeshwara Iyer in his magnum opus
“Kerala Sahithya Charithram.” He quotes a couplet praying the Goddess to cure his
diabetes from that book.
This temple is situated in the meeting point of three desams viz Thekkum muri,
Vadakkum muri and Kaniyur. Possibly it was initially called Mukkavala (Joining point of
three roads).
It is believed that Adhi Shankara happened to pass through this place. At that time a
grass cutter lady’s sickle fell on a rock and blood started oozing out of the stone. Adhi
Shankara could see a great luminous power, which he identified as the mother Goddess at
that place. He also had the vision of Lord Shiva and Lord Narasimha Murthy. He
requested people to construct a temple for the Goddess as well the other Gods there. The
temple for Goddess is the temple referred to as Melekkavu (the upper temple) in
Mukkuthala. Lord Shiva’s temple nearby is known as Keezhe Kavu and the temple of
Narasimhamurty is in Kolancherry. They also consecrated a temple for Bhadrakali in
Kannenkavu, nearby. The place where Adhishankara meditated is preserved in the
northern side of the Melekkavu temple and is known there as “Punya Bhoomi”. There a
statue of Adhi Shankara has been consecrated.
There is no usual pooja with ringing of bells in this temple. Only Naivedya (offering)
is offered to the Goddess. During the Karthiga star of Vruschiga masa, The Animangalam
Thanthri once does the pooja with ringing of bells , only once in a year.
The offering of Malar (Pori or puffed rice) is very important in this temple. Everyday
fresh puffed rice is prepared for making the offering. This offering is done after Abisheka
in the noon as well as after the pooja at night. In no other temple in Kerala, Malar is
offered to the Goddess at night. Quarter kilometer from the Melekkavu is the temple of
Bhadra Kali in Kannenkavu. She sits facing the Melekkavu. Whatever offering is made
to Melekkavu, it is offered at the gate of the sanctum sanctorum of Mele Kkavu to the
Bhadra Kali also (That is it is offered in Melekkavu temple facing the Bhadrakali
Some stones which become available below the idol of Melekkavu Bhagawathi, known
as “Mukkola Kallu” is collected by the priest and given to the devotees. It is believed that
this stone can drive out all the evil spirits and cure all diseases. This can be worn by men
as well as woman.
There is a plant called “Vazha” grown in the compound of this temple. People believe
that the leaf of this tree has the power to drive away evil spirits. They collect the leaves
and use it to adorn the hair of their children.
The major prayer for Melekkavu Bhagwathi is “Varam” (Reading of Vedas). The feast
(vara Sadhya) is given only in the Keezhekkavu. It is also believed that if we present a
hear gear made of flowers to the Goddess, marriages would be settled soon.
Among the great devotees of the temple were Kakkaseri Bhatathiri, Poonthanam,
Meppathur Narayana Bhatathiri , Koodalloor Namboothiri etc.

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